Category: ‘Air Quality’

Low VOC paints

September 22, 2011 Posted by Tlittle

Whichever part to the house you might be painting whether it is the exterior, interior, or another element to the property like the fence or garage it is important that the paint you select is as environmentally friendly as possible. Not just for the sake of the surrounding environment but also for the inhabitants coming in contact with the paint. Paint has been known to include a vast array of toxins (called Volatile Organic Compounds) to aid in the defense against fungus, fading, mildew, insects, and fast drying to name a few like and these can effect us not only from inhaling the fumes but also from the effects of absorption from contact and potential consumption when the paint gets old/chippy. This is a major contributor to why the air inside the house can be much more unhealthy and harmful than the air outside.

Low VOC, Zero VOC, and Natural Paints are the categories of paint that reduce or eliminate the danger created by the emitted toxins through utilizing natural components and ingredients in the case of Natural paints,  minimising the VOC components to 5 milligrams per litre from Zero VOC’s (this is 0.5%) or under 200 milligrams per litre (20%) in Low VOC.  VOC minimal paint is usually about $2-3 dollars more per gallon.



Indoor Plants

September 15, 2011 Posted by Tlittle

Air Pollutants and toxins are an increasing danger in the house that can lead of a number of health issues of notable severity. This is why we utilize air filters, ceiling fans, AC units,  opening of windows and other methods to combat the presence of these harmful substances.

Whilst often thought of as aesthetic features, the inclusion of Houseplants acts as a natural filter to counteract the effects of the complex chemicals in the house as well as stabalise the balance of internal humidity.

Recent NASA research on the contaminant absorbing qualities of indoor plants has found that they are so effective at air filtration that some will be included aboard in future launched space missions. The studies focused on the effects of common chemicals found in the house including; ’Formaldehyde’ which is found in everything from particle board or pressed wood products, paper products, shopping Bags, floor coverings, carpet backings and permanent-press clothes. ’Benzene’ which is used in the manufacturing of detergents, explosives, pharmaceuticals, and dyes, and further found in gasoline, inks, oils, paints, plastics, and rubber. Trichloroethylene (TCE) used in printing inks, paints, lacquers, varnishes, and adhesives. Finally, Carbon Monoxide which needs little introduction as it was the original gas chosen for the gas chamber. Each of these chemicals has been found to be the cause of everything from headaches to Cancer.

When Choosing plants for the house It is important to select a suitable position not only cater to the plant’s photosynthetic needs, but also as to where it will be in the best position to filter drafts and moving air. It is recommended that a plant be allocated to each 90 sqft of each common room in the house to adequately contribute toward good air quality.

The following plant species are recommended to be kept as indoor plants due their all round ability to absorb toxins and easy of keeping/durability.

Ceiling Fans

September 15, 2011 Posted by Tlittle

Air circulation in the house is crucial for the keeping an odor free environment and moving out any pollutants that can accumulate in the house from stagnant air. Whilst Air conditioning units can mechanically drive this airflow, the energy used to run these systems is by far the greatest of any device in the average household (See below).

10 – 100 Watts:           Ceiling Fan (no Lights)
600-1500 Watts:       Electric Space Heaters
600-3000 Watts:      Room Air Conditioners
2000-5000 Watts:    Central Air Conditioning Units

The instalation and use of a ceiling fan can greatly reduce the reliance on the AC system by circulating the air within the house, hereby creating a wind chill effect effectively cooling the people in the room whilst not actually cooling the room.

Operating the fan in reverse in the Winter produces a gentle updraft which circulates the warm air that has risen to the top of the room downward and thus stabilizes the air column, this in turn should allow for you to adjust your thermostat settings to a lower temperature. Much like lighting a room that is unoccupied, it doesn’t make much sense to have a fan on in a room with nobody in it.